Excerpt from
The Jensen Family

Probably he got caught in a steel trap like this one over here," their dad said, pointing to an exhibit in the next case.
"But how could he get free from that?" Julie asked.

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– posted 12.04.2009

Chapter Sixteen:  Help?

A Character story about trust.

Trans had heard enough. If he could get to headquarters, what he knew now from the Inspector and Nick would put all three behind bars. But how would he get out? A glance at the door confirmed the electronic lock was in place. He traced the wires up and across the ceiling toward the radio room where the men were sitting. Suddenly he remembered his wrist radio. Without thinking he pushed the code transmission button. "Eeeeee!" he heard the signal picked up somewhere in the room.
"What was that call?" Nick demanded, glancing toward the radio equipment.
"It's from the transmitters the kid and his Dad have. I can't tell for sure. I'll answer it just in case." The Inspector went over to his radio gear, turned one knob to the left, and spoke into the mike.
"Go ahead caller." But Trans had foreseen what was coming and had quickly inserted his earphone so that the call was not heard aloud in the room.
"No call from here. Over," came the voice of Mr. Gringle.
"Roger. Over and out." The Inspector leaned back and put his hands behind his head.
However, the sound of his dad's voice reminded Trans of his dad's orders to send him a distress message but reverse all codes. But what was this address? Trans remembered walking down Clark and passing Pistachio Street. The last block ended with 1034 so Trans reasoned that this must be about 1104 Clark since it is the second building past the corner. After quickly praying for God's blessing, he lifted his arm and felt around until he knew he was touching the code button. Then he took a deep breath, and depressed it.
"Hey, Marty, listen. Here comes that signal again. Let me copy it this time," Nick said. As the dits and da's of the code began to emit from the speaker, Nick quickly got a paper and pen and began copying the message. "Strange," Nick remarked as he wrote, easily following the slow speed, "the caller didn't identify himself. Maybe the kid got lost on some wide adventure," he sneered. Several minutes passed before the code stopped. Nick reread the message and then rose from his seat with a puzzled expression on his face.
"Hey, Art, Marty, look at this. This don't make no sense at all. Here's what it says: amdnarg. 351 4011 kralc. Then a long pause followed by 'tunaep'? And this garble was sent twice identically. Surely this can't be sent by the kid or his father. You said they knew the code better than this."
"Let me see that," the Inspector insisted, grabbing the paper from Nick. "They're the only ones with transmitters on this frequency." As the men poured their attention over the message, Trans felt somewhat relieved that he had sent the message accurately. Now if only his Father had heard him, and understood what it meant. He would just have to wait it out. The men continued pondering the message as Trans picked up their conversation.
"Hey, look here, Marty," Nick said, taking the paper and pointing. "This amdnarg might be backwards for grandma. Someone is calling and got the whole word backwards. Huh. Should have known they'd-"
"Hey, wait!" the Inspector said excitedly snatching the paper from Nick again. "Maybe the whole message is backwards. Yes, look, this 351 backward is 153. I don't- Yes, that's the kid's secret number. Now this next part must be a location. K-r-a-l-c backwards is clark, meaning Clark street! And what's this last-" Suddenly he froze, raised his head, and started looking around.
"What's the matter?" Nick asked nervously.
"Check the door. Make sure it's locked."
"It's locked already," Nick assured the Inspector. "What's wrong?"
"No, it can't be. I just left the kid and his father at the hotel. Something slipped up bad and I mean BAD."
"Why? What is it?" Art demanded. The Inspector was whispering now. "This says that the kid is calling in a distress call from this building! He's somewhere right in here listening to every word we say!" The men all began silently scanning the room.
"Oh he is, is he?" Nick sneered. "Well, don't you worry none. There's no way he's gunna get out of here alive."